After breaking his fighting spirit, I purified my blood with a spell meant to remove all foreign poisons from the body. Immediately, everything seemed to stabilize. The ground wasn’t swaying anymore, and I felt more in control.
Honestly, I should have done this right at the beginning of the fight, but had forgotten about it. I can’t believe I made such a rookie mistake, after all these years.
Ah, I’ll kick myself over it later. For now, let’s deal with the green team here.
They had been counting on the support of the guy I had beaten to defeat my group, and since I have handily dealt with him, they were of course easily dealt with.
Oh, and I found out that his name was Cait or something. He finally introduced himself after recovering from the shock of losing to me. Looks like he properly realized his mistake of underestimating someone.
For the rest, we had them hand over the one dungeon core they had gotten—another rank two core. We let them go after that. What, did you think students are cruel enough to keep others prisoner, or kill them? No, they only had them leave all their valuables behind. And their weapons.
Well, it effectively took one group out of the running, leaving us and five other teams. I did wonder about the one group that hadn’t gotten a would-be teacher. How was it fair that all but that one got reinforcements as strong as Cait? I mean, he lost to me handedly, but he’s still around twenty levels higher than the average students here.
Well, then again, I’m something like twenty level higher than him, so I probably shouldn't be speaking of fairness here.
After that, everyone went to sleep again, and didn’t wake up until well into the morning, due the the exertions they went through during the night. As soon as everyone was awake and had been fed, the group moved on, searching for another dungeon to raid. I wondered what the likelihood of running into another group again would be. As it was, I needn't have worried. We didn’t come across another group until a few days later.
In the Human empire’s capital, seven people sat around a circular table, eating what looked like breakfast.
These people were, of course, the heroes who had been summoned a short while ago.
The ones who ate with the most vigor were the man named Arthur, the one called Merlin, and the girl who had shown up chained, Sarah.
(Selina) “Ugh. Do you pigs have to show the great me such an uncivilized sight?”
Both Arthur and Sarah mumbled something with their mouths full. Merlin managed to swallow his food before speaking.
(Merlin) “Excuse us for the manners then, Arthur and I just won a great victory for Camelot, and secured a foothold in the continent proper. Pardon us if we offended you, child. By the way, we need to get back as soon as possible, so could someone magic us back somehow?”
While Selina sputtered in anger for being called a child, Sarah finished her food.
(Sarah) “Sorry, there’s no way back. Besides, history now sees you two as fictional characters. Legends, if you will.”
(Merlin) “What?! How do you know this?”
(Sarah) “Are you kidding? Everyone in my time knows the legend of King Arthur and his knights of the round table.”
(Merlin) “In your time, you say?”
(Sarah) “Yes. I came from the same world as you did, but only after many years had passed, allowing things like technology to advance and grow. You can ask her all about it.”
Sarah pointed at Gaby, who she had been acquainted with while still on earth. Gaby, for her part, was looking down at her plate and moving food around, still comprehending all her memories that had come back.
The guy with unkempt hair, Harving, was clutching his fists, like he was despretly holding something in.
(Sarah) “Though, I would suggest for now that you find reasons to stay in this world, and help it. That way, you don’t feel as cut adrift from your old lives.”
(Arthur) “Why does it seem like you know quite a bit about this?”
(Sarah) “Because I’ve done it before. I was taken from my home world, Earth, and brought into a conflict that had nothing to do with me. I dealt with it then, and now I’ll do it again.”
She unconsciously rubbed her arms, where the chains had been placed earlier.
Silence filled the room. Well, nearly. Selina continued pouting, and the boy named Rust was still eating.
Gaby looked up suddenly, straight at Sarah.
(Gaby) “Can we talk?”
Sarah nodded, and they left the table. Slowly, everyone else got up after that, walking to the quarters they had been shown to after first arriving.
Sarah followed Gaby to her quarters, a large room with a parlor area and a separate room with a bed. There was a wardrobe in the bedroom, and a bathroom connected to it, complete with toilet and bath.
They sat in the parlor, and Gaby was the first to speak.
(Gaby) “When you were summoned to another world, did my brother go with you?”
Sarah took a deep breath, mentally preparing herself for a tough topic.
(Sarah) “Yeah. Actually, rather than him going with me, it was like we all had gone with him. He was the target for the summoning, after all. Since you’re here, I assume it runs in the family or something.”
(Gaby) “What happened after you guys were summoned?”
(Sarah) “The typical thing, you know. ‘The demon king had risen, we need heroes to defeat it.’ For the first year, we just trained to fight against it and everything. Then, we began taking an active role in the fight. Your brother did most of the work, training the hardest and fighting the largest enemies. I think the rest of the group that was summoned was all too willing to let him deal with it. They were afraid of death, and for that I can forgive them. Most of the time, I was sent to missions separate from his, since I was almost as strong as he was. Eventually, the time came to face the demon lord itself, and we all gathered.”
(Gaby) “....What happened to my brother?”
(Sarah) “He was killed.”
Gaby didn’t cry, or show any other emotion besides a deep sorrow.
(Gaby) “I thought so. He would be here with you if it were otherwise.”
(Sarah) “He might still be here.”
(Gaby) “Please don’t give me any of that ‘he lives on in your heart’ bullshit.”
(Sarah) “No, what I mean is that as I was summoned to this world, the gods pulled me and three others aside, blessing us. As we were leaving, they told us that people can reincarnate into this world, and that there’s a chance the ones we miss are here.”
Gaby seemed stunned at this knowledge.
(Gaby) “You mean that…”
(Sarah) “Yeah. As long as we keep our mind open, and have some hope, I get the feeling that we’ll see Kylar again. He was always able to get out of those impossible situations, after all.”
I was just walking along behind the black team as the delved deeper into a tier three dungeon. It was considerably more dangerous than the tier two they had conquered a few days ago. They handled it well, though.
I went along as a safety net, making sure that if they were to come across something unbeatable, it wouldn’t be able to do anything to them. It would be absolutely destroyed before it could.
Everything was going well, right up until the twenty-fifth floor.
It was at that point that I felt something odd.
For one, there were other people in this dungeon. I could feel the mana being used by them, on one of the upper levels. They had only just entered though, so they were only on the third or so level. Nothing to worry about yet, since we would undoubtedly reach the core well before they would.
We went all the way down to the thirtieth floor, and encountered a tough floor boss there, in the form of a giant serpent with white scales. It was a close fight, and nearly ended in defeat for the group that fought it. In the end, a sword through the eye and into the brain of the beast finished it off.
Just as the fight ended however, things went wrong.
You see, a dungeon needs energy to advance a tier, and gains it from the excess mana emitted by those delving into the dungeon and fighting the monsters within. It’s a rare occurrence for a dungeon to advance to a higher tier, due to the amount of energy required. When growing naturally, a dungeon will take fifty years to first form, thirty years to advance to second tier, fifty to third tier after that, and one hundred to fourth.
It looks like my luck precedes me, since right after the floor boss was killed, the whole dungeon started rumbling violently. The floor beneath our feet seemed to drop, and elongate as more levels were added onto the dungeon above us. We were being shoved deeper into the earth as the dungeon went through it’s rank-up, becoming a tier four dungeon.
Eventually, the shaking stopped, and the sounds fearful voices from the black group could be heard. It’s lucky that we had all been brought down to the same place, and that the floor stayed intact. This way, I could reliably make sure that everyone was kept safe as we went back up through the dungeon. It would have been disastrous for them, had they not had me with them. They simply couldn’t handle a tier four dungeon, especially since we had been thrown so far into it. I would estimate that we dropped to the fortieth floor range. Definitely something they couldn’t handle.
Well, first things first.
I gathered up everybody, and told them what would happen. Essentially, they would follow behind, as I killed everything in the way.
Yeah. It’s simple, but very effective.
None of them argued with this plan, having seen my strength and abilities. They followed along behind me like sheep, though I would occasionally hear murmuring behind me, faintly audible.
(Az) “...going to get stronger, I swear. Won’t be protected again.”
(Font) “...damn it, protected by the half-breed.”
It was in this way that I carved a bloody path through the lower-floor monsters of a tier four dungeon. Whenever a monster appeared in front of me, it would instantly be cut into smaller pieces. Most of them were comparable to someone with a level of forty or fifty, and unable to hold a candle to me, who was level seventy-three. Even more so considering that my stats were comparable to someone much higher than my level.
The pace speed up the higher we went as well, since the levels got smaller the closer to the surface you got. The group that had entered the dungeon after us had disappeared as well. I surmised that they had left after the dungeon advanced a tier. They had, however, taken the camping gear that we left outside the dungeon after having set some basic wards on them. Among the wards, I placed a tracking spell in case this very situation occurred.
Well, I’m eager to find out just which group had the balls to take our stuff. Especially since my own tent was among the things taken.